(photo courtesy: “Jump in the Lake Club”)
I just read on Facebook that my old friend Chuck Koshiol, is going to jump into an ice-covered lake again. It has given me renewed hope and even some good cheer at a time when hope and good cheer are in short supply. If Chuck, at age 66, is going to make another jump, then there is definitely reason for hope. I presume he’s 66, as that’s my age and we’ve been friends since pre-kindergarten days.
I should explain, that for some reason (which I cannot explain), back in 1985 Chuck started something he calls the “Paynesville Jump in the Lake Club.” It involves a few iron-willed souls from the great north woods of Minnesota, who go out to Lake Koronis where they chop a big hole in the ice so that they can jump into the bitterly cold water. And they are going to do it once again on Sunday, March the 15th.
I do not not know why. I can only presume it is a celebration of life, which is something we can all use, what with ongoing war in the Middle East and North Africa, the threat of terrorism on our own soil while 7/24 cable news channels pump a constant stream of fear into our national psyche, carping about the threat of a measles outbreak due to a lack of proper vaccinations while Hillary Clinton is about to bring down our entire national security complex because she used her personal email while the NSA snoops on us all and our thoroughly dysfunctional politicians refuse to do anything about any of it.
Trying to sort it out is enough to make a grown man cry. Or to raise a middle finger to it all and go jump in the lake. Which is what Chuck is going to do. Again. For all of us.
I’ll be there in spirit if not in the flesh. Even if I were there in the flesh I wouldn’t jump in that lake. It’s too damn cold and we can’t all be iron men. I would though, be there to cheer Chuck on. He stands as a monument to those brave souls who do seemingly crazy things that serve as a reaffirmation of the human spirit. Occasionally we need to be reminded that it’s not all bad and that sometimes we tend to take this journey just a bit too seriously.
Thank you, Chuck, and good jumping to you.